Arran Lee-Barrett answers Bolton Wanderers goalkeeping SOS
ARRAN Lee-Barrett has answered Wanderers’ emergency call after a goalkeeper crisis left them with only one fit professional for the Ipswich clash.
The 29-year-old, who picked up most of his experience in the Championship with the Tractor Boys, joins on a two-month contract.
Adam Bogdan (knee) and Jay Lynch (back) were ruled out this week to leave Andy Lonergan as the only fit stopper in the senior ranks.
Teenager Harry Campbell was next in line, although the Darwen youngster only made his debut for the development squad on Tuesday afternoon at Blackpool.
Lee-Barrett has more than 100 league appearances to his name and, claims Freedman, his arrival at such short notice is testament to a new scouting network he installed over the summer.
“He’s done a bit in the Championship but I’ll be very honest it is very difficult to bring in a goalkeeper who will fight for his place but knows he’s going to start on the bench, and at the right price,” he said.
“Some people out there might not know what it takes to get a deal like this done within the parameters we are doing them in. Without the recruitment department we have put in place we’d have been going into this game without a goalkeeper on the bench.
“A lot of managers do that kind of thing but I refuse to. I think we are very professional and the recruitment department have come up with a player who has experience, was available and willing to help us out short-term.”
Bogdan’s absence is the latest in a never-ending stream of injuries to hit key players over the last six months.
Freedman is thankful to have experience in ex-Leeds and Preston stopper Lonergan – but lamented his bad luck on the injury front since his arrival at the club a year ago today.
“I’ve tried my very, very best to keep my mouth as closed as I can with all these injuries because I think it can come across as whingeing or moaning but, again, it’s something that can set us back,” he said.
“It gets very difficult to carry on taking these blows but we have got Andy Lonergan, who I believe is at least a Championship goalkeeper.
“He’s trained very hard and waited for his opportunity. This is not how we wanted to give it to him but this is a chance for him to go in there and do what he has got to do.”